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Disclosure to Promote the Right To Information 

Whereas the Parliament of India has set out to provide a practical regime of right to 
information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, 
in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, 
and whereas the attached publication of the Bureau of Indian Standards is of particular interest 
to the public, particularly disadvantaged communities and those engaged in the pursuit of 
education and knowledge, the attached public safety standard is made available to promote the 
timely dissemination of this information in an accurate manner to the public. 

Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan 
"The Right to Information, The Right to Live'' 

IS 4963 (1987) : Recommendations for Buildings and 
Facilities for the Physically Handicapped [CED 12: 
Functional Requirements in Buildings] 

Jawaharlal Nehru 
'Step Out From the Old to the New" 

aj^&vi iJii^s:y%K^ isb^^ni^seg 

:<>5&i| mT'5K^5?::5:^>^i»l 


Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda 
Invent a New India Using Knowledge 

Bhartrhari — Nitisatakam 
''Knowledge is such a treasure which cannot be stolen" 






IS : 4953 -1987 

( Reaffirmed 2006 ) 

Indian Standard 




(First Revision) 

UDC 69 n^ : 725-54 

C Copyrlgki 19S7 


NEW t>^im 110002 

Gr 6 Novethber 19S7 


Indian Standard 




f First Revision J 

Functional Requirements in Buildings Sectional Committee, BDC 12 

Chairman Representing 

Shri G. C. Mathur National Buildings Organization, New Delhi 


Shri Chandra Bhallabh Institute of Town Planners, New Delhi 

Shrt a. Bhardwaj Indian Institute of Architects, Bombay 

Shri Surinder Sharma ( Alternate ) 
Chief Architect Public Works Department, Government of Tamil 

Nadu, Madras 

Senior Architect ( Alternate ) 
Director ( Arch ) Ministry of Railways ( RDSO ) 

Shri Y. P. Vadehra ( Alternate ) 
Shri P. C. Jaitley Directorate General of Health Services, New 

Shri G. P. Lal Institution of Engineers ( India ), Calcutta 

Shri L. R. Lalla Engineer-in-Chief's Branch, Army Headquar- 

ters, New Delhi 

Shri Sunder Singh ( Alternate ) 
Shri I. D. Mathur Central Public Works Department, New Delhi 

Shri K. J. Nath All India Institute of Hygiene and Public-Health, 


ShriD. Guin ( Alternate ) 
Shri Bimal K. Roy Corporation of Calcutta, Calcutta 

Prof R. K. Sahu University of Roorkee, Roorkee 

Shri M. R. Sharma Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee 

Shrt K. S. Srinivasan National Buildings Organization, New Delhi 

Shri M. M. Mistry ( Alternate ) 

( Continued on page 2 ) 

© Copyright 1987 


This publication is protected under the Indian Copyright Act ( XIV of 1957 ) and 
reproduction in whole are in part by any means except with written permission of the 
publisher shall be deemed to be an infringement of copyright under the said Act. 

IS : 4963 - 1987 

( Continued from page I ) 

Shri Gautam Suri 

Shri G. Raman, 

Director ( Civ Engg ) 


Suri and Suri -Consulting Acoustical Engineers, 

New Delhi 
Director General, BIS ( Ex- officio Member ) 

Shri A. K. Saini 

Deputy Director ( Civ Engg ), BIS 

IS : 4963 - 1987 

Indian Standard 




( First Revision ) 


0.1 This Indian Standard ( First Revision ) was adopted by the Indian 
Standards Institution on 20 March 1987, after the draft finahzed by the 
Functional Requirements in Buildings Sectional Committee had been 
approved by the Civil Engineering Division Council. 

0.2 In the recent years, there has been great emphasis on encouraging the 
less fortunate members of the society, who, for the reasons of certain 
physically handicaps are not at par with their counterparts. This is being 
done in many places where human labour with physical disabilities is being 
utilized by many organizations. 

0.3 In order to create circumstances, environment and conditions of work, 
suitable for those who are physically handicapped, certain basic require- 
ments in the buildings, at the planning stage itself, must be taken care 

0.4 While constructing hospital complexes, paraplegic centres and other 
facilities for the use of physically handicapped, user administrator's in- 
volvement should be made an essential featuie. 

0.5 This standard was originally published in 1968. The standard is being 
revised to align it with ISO publication: 'Needs of disabled people in 
buildings — Design guidelines'. The important changes incorporated in 
this revision are as follows: 

a) Listing of additional categories of handicapped people; 

b) Modification in requirement of ramps, stairs, doors, handrails and 
controls; and 

c) Additional requirements regarding windows. 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

0.6 For the purpose of deciding whether a particular requirement of this 
standard is complied with, the final value, observed or calculated, express- 
ing the result of a test or analysis, shall be rounded oflf in accordance 
with IS : 2-1960*. The number of significant places retained in the 
rounded off value, should be the same as that of the specified value in this 


1.1 This standard apphes to all buildings and facilities used by the public. 
It apphes to temporary or emergency conditions as well as permanent 
conditions. It does not apply to private residences. 

1.2 This standard is concerned with non-ambulatory disabilities, semi- 
ambulatory disabilities, sight disabilities, hearing disabilities, disabilities of 
inco-oidination, aging, allergies, heart and lung diseases, epilepsy, haemo- 
philia, incontinence and enterostomy. 

1.3 This standard is intended to make all buildings and facilities used by 
the public accessible to, and functional for the physically handicapped 
through and within their doors, without loss of function, space or facility 
where the general public is concerned. It supplements existing standards, 
and reflects greater concern for safety of life and limb. In cases of 
practical difficulty, unnecessary hardship, oi extreme differences, administ- 
rative authorities may grant exceptions from the literal requirements of 
this standard or permit the use of other methods or materials, but only 
when it is clearly evident that equivalent facilities and protection are 
thereby secured. 


2.0 For the purpose of this standard, the following definitions shall apply. 

2.1 Aging — Those manifestations of the aging processes that significamly 
reduce mobility, flexibility, co-ordination and perceptiveness but are not 
accounted for in the categories mentioned in 2.3.1 to 2.3.9. 

2.2 Appropriate Number — The number or a specific item that would be 
necessary, in accordance with the purpose and function of building or 
facility, to accommodate individuals with specific disabilities in proportion 
to the anticipated number or individuals with disabilities who would use a 
particular building or facility. 

•Rules for rounding off numerical values ( revised ). 


IS: 4963 -1987 

2.3 Disabilities 

2.3.1 Non-ambulatory Disabilities — Impairments that, regardless of 
cause or manifestation, for aii practical purposes, confine individuals to 

2.3.2 Semi-ambulatory Disabilities — Impairements that cause individuals 
to walk with difficulty or insecurity. Individuals using braces or crutches, 
amputees, arthrities, spastics, and those with pulmonary and cardio ills 
may be semi-ambulatory. 

2.3.3 Sight Disabilities — Total bUndness or impairments affecting sight 
to the extent that the individual functioning in public areas is insecure or 
exposed to danger. 

2.3.4 Hearing Disabilities — Deafness or hearing handicaps that might 
make an individual insecure in public areas because he is unable to 
communicate or hear warning signals. 

2.3.5 Disabilities of Jnco-ordination ~ Faulty co-ordination or palsy 
from brain, spinal, or peripheral nerve injury, 

2.3.6 People with Allergies — People with allergies may be sensitive to 
dust, mildew, pollen, animal hair, formalin, turpentine, etc. Some are 
sensitive to contact with substances and materials such as nickel, chromium 
and rubber. 

-2.3,7 People with Heart and Lung Diseases — People with heart and lung 
diseases may only be able to walk short distances and may be unable to 
climb stairs. The requirements of these people are similar to those with 
impaired mobility. 

2.3.8 People with Epilepsy, Haemophilia, etc — The requirements of 
those with epilepsy, heam.ophiha, etc, are related primarily to the design 
of buildings and the need to minimize the risk of injury caused b_y falling 
or encountering obstacles. 

2.3.9 People with Incontinence, Enterostomy Operations^ etc — - The 
requirements of penole with incontinence, enterostom.y operations, etc, 
( colostomies, ileostomies and urostomies ) are mainly related to bathroom 
provision. In certain circum^stances, for example, in public WC compart- 
ments, it may be desirable to provide a special sink for emptying urine 

2,4 Fixed Turning Radius, Front Structure to Rear Structure — The turning 
radius of a wheelchair, le^t front-foot platform to right rear wheel, or 
right front-foot platform to left rear wheel, when pivoting on a spot. 

IS : 4963 - 1987 

2.5 Fixed Turning Radius Wheel — The tracking of the caster wheels and 
large wheels of a wheelchair when pivoting on a spot. 

2.6 Involved ( Involvement ) — A portion or portions of the human 
anatomy or physiology, or both, that have a loss or impairment of normal 
function as a result of genesis, trauma, disease, inflammation, or 

2.7 Ramps, Ramps with Gradients — Because the term 'ramp' has a 
multitude of meanings and uses, its use in this text is clearly defined as 
ramps with gradients ( gradual slope joining two level surfaces) that deviate 
from what would otherwise be considered the normal level. An exterior 
ramp, as distinguished from a 'walk', would be considered an appendage to 
a building leading to a level above or below existing ground level. 

2.8 Walk, Walks — Because the terms *walk' and 'walks' have a multitude 
of meanings and uses, their use in this standard is clearly defined as a 
predetermined, prepared-surface, exterior pathway leading to or from a 
building or facility, or from owq exterior area to another, placed on the 
existing ground level and not deviating from the level of the existing ground 
immediately adjacent. 


3.1 Wheelchair — For details regarding wheelchair, jsee IS : 7454-1974* and 

3.2 Functioning of a Wheelchair 

3.2.1 When planning spaces in buildings to cater for wheelchair turning, 
a guide is to impose on the plan a circle of 1 56o mm diameter. If this 
space is clear, the plan arrangement will normally be satisfactory. How- 
ever, spaces in doorways, niches and under work-tops, desks or furniture 
can often be used when turning. Where a high degree of accessibility is 
required, such as in hospital buildings, spaces should be more generous. 
Considerable energy is needed to propel a wheelchair manually up ramps, 
over changes in level or over soft or uneven surfaces. Thresholds and 
changes in level should be avoided. Ground and floor surfaces should be 
hard and even. 

3.2.2 The fixed turning radius of a standard wheelchair, wheel to wheel, 
is 450 mm. The fixed turning radius, front structure to rear structure, is 
785 mm. 

♦Specification for wheelchairs, folding with removable armrests and swinging 

fSpecification for wheelchair, folding type, junior size. 

IS : 4963 - 1987 

3.2.3 The average turning spaces required is 1 800 x 1 800 mm ( see 
Fig. 1 ). 

All dimensions in millimetres. 

Note — Actually, a turning space that is longer than it is wide, is more work- 
able and desirable in an area with two open ends, such as might be the case in a 
corridor, a minimum of 1 350 mm between two walls would permit a 360 degree turn. 

Fig. 1 Average Turning Space For a Wheelchair 

3.2.4 A minimum width of 1 650 mm, preferably 1 800 mm, is required 
for two individuals in wheelchairs to pass each other. 

3.2.5 The width of corridors in the hospital rehabihtation centre and in 
the paraplegic centres should be two metre. 

3.3 Adult Individual Functioning in a Wheelchair 

3.3.1 The average unilateral vertical reach is 1 500 mm and ranges from 
1 350 to 1 600 mm. 

3.3.2 The average horizontal working (table) reach is 775 mm and 
ranges from 715 to 830 mm. 

3.3.3 The bilateral horizontal reach, both arms extended to reach side 
shoulder high, ranges from 1 350 to 1 770 mm and averages 1 560 mm. 

3.3.4 An individual reaching diagonally, as would be required in using a 
wall-mounted dial telephone or towel dispenser, would make the average 
reach ( on the wall ) 1 200 mm from the floor. 

Note — Extremely small, large, strong, or weak and involved individual could 
fall outside the ranges in 3.3.1 to 3.3.3, and their reach could differ from the 
dimensions given in 3.3.4. 

3.4 Individual Functioning on Crutches 

3.4.1 When walking with a normal gait, the distance between crutch 
tips ranges from 760 to 840 mm depending on the height of the person. 

IS : 4963 - 1987 Most individuals ambulating on braces or crutches, or both, 
or on canes are able to manipulate within the specifications prescribed 
for wheelchairs, although doors present quite a problem at time. However, 
attention is called to the fact that a crutch tip extending laterally from 
an indi\idual is not obvious to others in heavily trafficked areas, certainly 
not as obvious or protective ^s a wheelchair and is, therefore, a source of 
vulnerability. Some cerebral palsied individuals, and some severe arthrities, 
would be extreme exceptions to 3.4.1 and 

3.5 People with Hearing Disabilities 

3.5.1 People with hearing disabilities have particular difficulty in 
comprehending sounds and words in noisy environments. Rooms should 
be acoustically well insulated. In public buildings loudspeaking systems 
should be clearly audible. Supplementary visual information should be 
provided, for example, in bus terminals, railway stations and airports. 

3.5.2 People with hearing disabilities may rely on lip reading; this is 
helped if there is good overall lighting which is non-reflective. They may 
have difficulty using telephones, etc. Audible signals may in certain cases 
be supplemented with visual signals. 

3.5.3 Induction loops may be installed in auditoria, theatres, meeting 
rooms, etc, to improve sound reception for people using hearing aids 

3.6 People with Sight Disabilities 

3.6.1 For people with sight disabilities, orientation can be aided by 
marking with the use of colour, illumination and, in certain cases, the 
texture of material. Design and plan arrangements should be simple and 
uncomplicated. Contrasting colours should be used to aid the identification 
of doors, stairs, ramps, passage ways, skirting boards, etc. Surfaces can 
be varied to indicate passage ways, changes of direction, etc. Orientation 
cues should be specially illuminated. Handrails can be used as a locational 

3.6.2 To minimize the risk of falls and injuries, hazards such as posts, 
single steps and projections from walls should be avoided wherever possi- 
ble. Hazards should be emphasized by means of illumination and by 
contrasting colours and materials. 

3.6.3 People with sight disabilities are often sensitive to glare. Unwanted 
mirroring affects and reflections may be avoided by attention to the 
location of windows and illumination, and the choice of floor and wall 
surfaces. People with sight disabilities often have difficulty in reading 
signs and other printed information. Blind peaple are restricted to tactile 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

reading. Visual information in, for example, bus terminals, railway 
stations and airports should be supplemented with audible information. 


4.1 Almost any building can be made acce^ssible to handicapped persons 
by planning the site so that the terraces, retaining walls and winding walks 
are used effectively. 

4A,1 Site development is the most effective means to resolve the problems 
created by topography, definitive architectural designs or concepts, water 
table, existing streets, and typical problems, singularly or collectively, so 
that aggress, ingress, and egress to buildings by physically disabled may 
be facilitated while preserving the desired design and effect of the 

4.2 Walks 

4.2.1 Public walks should be at least 1 200 mm wide and should have a 
gradient not greater than 1 in 20. 

4.2,1.1 It is essential that the gradient of walks and driveways be less 
than that prescribed for ramps, since walks would be free of handrails and 
kerbs and would be considerably longer and more vulnerable to the 
elements. Walks of near maximum grade and considerable length should 
have level areas at intervals for purposes of rest and safety. Walks or 
driveways should have a non-slip surface. 

4.2.2 Such walks shall be of a continuing common surface not interrup- 
ted by steps or abrupt changes in level. 

4.2.3 Wherever walks cross other walks, driveways or parking lots, they 
should blend to a common level. This specification does not require the elimination of kerbs 
which, particularly if they occur at regular intersections, are a distinct 
safety feature for all of the handicapped, particularly the blind. The 
preferred method of meeting the specification is to have the walk, inclined 
to the level of the street. However, at principal intersections, it is vitally 
important that the kerb run parallel to the street, up to the point where 
the walk is inclined, at which point the kerb would turn in and gradually 
meet the level of the walk at its highest point. A less preferred method 
would be to gradually bring the surface of the driveway or street to the 
level of the walk. The disadvantage of this method is that a blind person 
would not know when he has left the protection of a walk and entered the 
hazards of a street or driveway ( see Fig. 2 ). 


KERB max. 25 mm HIGH 

Fig. 2 Suitable Method of Blending Pavement and Roadway 


4.2.4 A walk shall have a level platform at the top which is at least 
1 500 mm long, if a door swings out on the platform or towards the walk. 
This platform shall extend at least 300 mm beyond each side of the 
doorway. A walk shall have a level platform at least 900 mm deep, if the 
door does not swing on to the platform or towards the walk. This platform 
shall extend at least 300 mm beyond each side of doorway. 

4.3 Parking Space 

4.3.1 Spaces that are accessible and approximate to the facility should 
be set aside and identified for use by individuals with physical disabilities. 

4.3.2 A parking space open on one side, allowing room for individuals 
in wheelchairs or individuals on braces and crutches to get in and out of 
an automobile on to a level surface, is required. It should have a minimum 
width of 2 700 mm preferably 2 800 mm for ambulant disabled and 
minimum 3 000 mm preferably 3 300 mm for wheelchair users, 

4.3.3 Parking spaces for individuals with physical disabilities, when 
placed between two conventional diagonal or head-on parking spaces, 
should be 3*6 to 3*8 m wide and the length of aisle should be 7*3 m, 6*1 m 
and 6*5 m for head on, 90° and 60° parking respectively. 

4.3.4 Care in planning should be exercised so that individuals in wheel- 
chairs and individuals using braces and crutches are not compelled to wheel 
or walk behind parked cars. 

4.3.5 Consideration should be given to the distribution of spaces for 
use by the disabled in accordance with the frequency and persistency of 
parking needs. 

4.3.6 Walks shall be in conformity with 4.2. 


IS : 4963 - 1987 


5.1 Ramps with Gradients — • Where ramps with gradients are necessary or 
desired, they shall conform to the following specifications ( see Fig. 3 ). 









m1n^300 mm- RISERS 
tnox* 150 mm 

■1800 X 1800mm min. 


Fig. 3 Example of Ramped Approach 

5.1.1 A ramp when provided should not have a slope greater than 1 in 
20 or maximura of 1 in 12 for short distance up to 9 000 mm. 

5.1.2 A ramp shall have handrails on at least one side, and preferably 
two sides^ that are 900 mm high, measured from the surface of the ramp, 
that are smooth, that extend 300 mm beyond the top and bottom of the 
ramp. Where major traffic is predominantly children, the handrails should 
be placed 760 mm high. 

Note 1 — Where codes specify handrails to be of heights other than 900 mm, it 
is recommended that two sets of handrails be installed to serve all people. Where 
major traffic is predominantly children, particularly physically disabled child- 
ren, extra care should be exercised in the placement of handrails, in accordance 
with the nature of the facility and the age group or groups being serviced ( see 
also 6,1 ). 

Note 2 — Care should be taken that the extension of the handrails is not in 
itself a hazard. Extension up to 300 mm may be made on the side of a continuing 

5.1.3 A ramp shall have a surface that is non-slip and if length is 3 500 
mm, the minimum width shall be 1 500 mm. 


18:4963-1987 The provision of non-slip surface on ramps greatly assists the 
handicapped persons with semi and ambulatory disabilities. Non-slip 
surfaces are provided by many finishes and materials. The surfaces of the 
concrete ramps can be made non-skid by brooming the surface or by 
finishing with an indenting roller. 

5.1.4 A ramp shall have a level platform at the top which is at least 
ISOOmmlongj if a door swings out onto the platform or towards the 
ramp. This platform shall extend at least 300 mm beyond each side of the 
doorway {see Fig. 4). 

All dimensions in millimetres. 

Fig. 4 Level Areas Required at End of Ramps Leading to Doorways 

5.1.5 Each ramp shall have at least 1 800 mm of straight clearance at 
the bottom. 

5.1.6 Ramps shall have level platforms at 10-12 m intervals for purposes 
of rest and safety, and shall have platforms of minimum 1*5 m length 
wherever they turn. 

5.1.7 For visually impaired people, ramps may be colour contrasted 
with landing. 

5.1.8 To minimize risk to wheelchair users, ramps should be equipped 
with kerbs approximately 50 mm high at exposed sides. 

5.2 Entrances 

5.2.1 At le^st one primary entrance to each building shall be usable by 
individuals in wheelchairs ( see Fig. 5 A ) and shall be indicated by a sign 
{ see Fig. 5B). 

5.2.2 At least one entrance usable by individuals in wheelchairs shall be 
on a level that would make the elevators accessible. 

5.3 Doors and Doorways 
5.3.1 Doorwidth — To enable wheelchair users to pass through doors, 


IS; 4963 -1987 





Note — Because entrances also serve as exits, some being particularly impor- 
tant in case of an emergency, and because the proximity of such exits to' all 
parts of buildings and facilities, in accordance with their design and function, is 
essential, it is preferable that all or most entrances (exits) should be accessible 
to and usable by individuals in wheelchairs and individuals with other forms of 
physical disability herein applicable. 

Fig. 5 Entrances 

the minimum dear width should be 900 mm and shall be operable by 
single effort. In certain cases the clear width should be 900 to 1 000 mm; 
for example, if the wheelchair has to be turned in the doorway, where 
there is a door closer or at entrance doors to public buildings and in 
Other situations wheie there is considerable traffic. 

5.3J.1 Two-leaf doors are not usable by those with disabilities 
defined in 2.1, 2.2 and 2.5, unless they operate by a single effort, or unless 
one of the two leaves meets the requirements of 5.3.1. Side-hung doors -^ To {acilitSitQ "wh^Qlchair manoeuvre, doors 
should be hung with Ihe hinges in room corners. Doors opening out into 
corridors or circulation spaces should be avoided as far as possible. It is recommended that all doors have kick plates extending 
from the bottom of the door to at least 400 mm from the floor, or be 
made of a material and finish that would safely withstand the abuse they 
might receive from canes, crutches, wheelchair foot-platforms or wheel- 
chair wheels. 

5.3.2 Wheelchair Manoeuvring Space — To onablt wheelchair users to 
approach doors manoeuvring space is needed as shown in the Fig. 6. A 
corridor should have a width of at least 1 200 mm to allow a 90^ turn to be 
m.adc through a door. In narrow spaces sliding doors may be preferable. 


IS : 4963 - 1987 







All dimensions in millimetres. 

Note — Depending on the free space beside the opening side of the door (450 
or 550 mm), the depth ot the free space should be 1 500 or 1 400 mm. 

Fig. 6 Manoeuvring Space Needed for Wheelchair Users to 

Approach Doors 

5.3.3 Thresholds — Raised thresholds should be avoided, but where this 
is not possible, their height should not exceed 25 mm. Rubber thresholds 
are advantageous for wheelchair users. Care should be taken in the selection, placement and 
setting of door closers so that they do not prevent the use of doors by the 
physically disabled. Time-delay door closers are recommended. Self-closing doors — Wheelchair users and other with impaired 
mobility have difficulty in using self-closing doors. The force required to 
open them, should be reduced as far as possible. Public buildings should 
preferably have shding automatic doors. 

5.3.4 T>oor Indentification — To help people with impaired vision to see 
doors, the door and frame should be in a colour which contrasts with the 
adjoining wall. Glass or glazed doors should be marked with a colouresd 
band or frame, a little below eye-level. 

5.3.5 Handles —Door handles and locks should be easy to manipulate. 
To facilitate the closing of a door by wheelchair users ( for example, a WC 
compartment ), the door should have a horizontal handle approximately 
800 mm from the floor. Self-closing doors should be equipped with an 
easily gripped vertical pull-handle with a length of at least 300 mm, and 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

with the lower end approximately 800 mm above floor level. For many 
people and specially those with impaired vision, it is helpful to make 
clear whether doors are to, he pulled or pushed ( see Fig. 7 ). 

All dimensions in millimetres. 

Fig. 7 Position of Handle 

5.4 Windows — Windows should be designed to avoid the glare which is a 
particular problem for people with impaired vision. Large glass areas 
close to circulation spaces should be marked a little below eye-level with 
a coloured band or frame. To enable wheelchair users to see through a 
window comfortably, the sill should be not higher than 800 mm from the 
floor. Windows should be easy to open and close. Their controls should 
be placed in the zone 900 to 1 200 mm from the floor ( see Fig. 8 ). 

5.5 Stairs — Stairs should not be the only means of moving between 
floors. They should be supplemented by lifts or ramps. 

5,5.1 Stiaight flights of steps are preferred by ambulant disabled people. 
Treads should be approximately 300 mm deep and riser_s not higher than 
150 mm. Steps should be of a consistent height and depth throughout the 
stair. Projecting nosings and open stairs should be avoided to minimize 
the risk of stumbling. 


IS : 4963 - 1987 


All dimensions in millimetres. 
Fig. 8 Position of Sill and Window Control 

5.5.2 Handrails should be provided to both sides of any stairway. They 
should be continuous and extend not less than 300 mm beyond the top and 
bottom step ( otherwise it is difficult for the disabled to use the rail at the 
first and last step; see Fig. 9 ). 

All dimensions in millimetres. 
Fig. 9 Extension of Handrail in Stairs 

5*5.3 For people with impaired vision, there should be a colour contrast 
between landings, and top and bottom st6ps of a flight of steps, or the 
front edge of each step should have a contrasting colour. 


IS : 4963 ^ 1987 

5.6 Floors 

5.6.1 Floors shall have a non-slip surface. 

5.6.2 Floors on a given storey shall be of a common level throughout 
or be connected by a ramp in accordance with 5.1*1 to 5.1.8. A gentle slope up to 10 mm may be given between the level of 
the floor of the corridor and the level of the floor of the toilet rooms. 


RIM AT 810 mm ASQVE 


1370 mm min OR 1520 mm WHERE 
-*- DEPTH IS LESS THAN 1750 mm OR - 

AH dimensions in millimetres. 

Fig, 10 SuGGSSTED Plan WC Compartment for the Wheelchair Bound 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

5.6*2.2 There should not be a difference between the level of the floor 
of a corridor and the level of floor of meeting room, dining room or any 
other room, unless proper ramps are provided. 

5.7 Sanitary Facilities — It is essential that sanitary facilities, in accordance 
with the nature and use of a specific building or facility, be made accessi- 
ble to, and usable by the physically handicapped. 

5.7.1 Sanitary facilities shall have space to allow traffic of individuals in 
wheelchairs, in accordance with 3.1, 3.2 and 3,3 ( see Fig. 10 and 11 ). 




RAIL AT 280m 

835 TO 1295 mm 

AT 780 mm 

AT 500 mm 

\ Li — ^ 

1070 mm 

All dimensions in millimetres. 

Fig. 11 Section Through WC Compartment for the 
Wheelchair Bound 

5.7.2 Sanitary facilities shall have at least one water closet cubicle for 
the ambulant disabled ( see Fig. 12 and 13 ) that: 

a) is 900 mm wide; 

b) is at least 1 500 mm preferably 1 600 mm deep; 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

c) has a door shutter ( where doors are used ), that is, 800 mm wide 
and swings out; 

d) has handrails on each side, 780 mm high and parallel to the floor, 
40 mm clearance between rail and wall, and fastened securely at 
ends and centre; and 

e) has a water closet with the seat 500 mm from the floor. 

Note — The design and mounting of the water closet is of considerable impor- 
tance. A wall-mounted water closet with a narrow understructure that recedes 
sharply is most desirable. If a floor mounted water closet is to be used, it should 
not have a front that is wide and perpendicular to the floor at the front of the 
seat. The bowl should be shallow at the front of the seat and turn backward 
more than downward to allow the individualin a wheelchair to get close to the 
water closet with the seat of the wheelchair. 

(-635 mm M(N PREFERflCO 


280 mm ABOVE 

1235 mm HIGH 



Fig. 12 Suggested Plan WC Compartment fOr the Ambulant Disabled 

5.73 Sanitary facilities shall have wash basins with narrow aprons 
which, when mounted at standard height, are usable by individuals in 
wheelchairs; or shall have wash basins mounted higher, when particular 
designs demand so that they are usable by individuals in wheelchairs. 


IS : 4963 - 1987 


RAIL AT 280 mm 



WC SEAT AT 500 mm 


635 TO 1295 mm 



1070 mm 


Fig. 13 Section Through WC Compartment for the Ambulant Disabled The drain pipes and hot-water pipes under a sanitary appliance 
be covered or insulated so that a wheelchair individual do not find it 

5.7.4 Some mirrors and shelves shall be provided above wash basins at a 
height as low as possible and not higher than 1 m above the floor, measured 
to the top of the shelf and the bottom of the mirror. 

5.7.5 Sanitary facilities for jnen shall have wall-mounted urinals with 
the opening of the basin 460 mm from the floor, or shall have floor 
mounted urinals that are on level with the main floor of the toilet room. 

5.7.6 Toilet rooms shall have an appropriate number of towel racks, 
towel dispensers, and other dispensers and disposal units mounted not 
higher than 910 mm from the floor. 

5.8 Drinking Fountains — An appropriate number of drinking fountains 
or other water-dispensing means shall be accessible to and usable by the 
physically disabled. 



5.8.1 Drinking water fountains or water coolers shall have up front 
spouts and control. 

5.8.2 Drinking water fountains or water coolers shall be hand-operated 
or hand and foot-operated. Conventional floormounted water coolers may be convenient 
to individuals in wheelchairs if a small fountain is mounted on the side of 
the cooler 800 mm above the floor. Fully recessed drinking water fountains are not recommended. Drinking water fountains should not be set into an alcove 
unless the alcove is wider than a wheelchair ( see 3.1 ). 

5.9 Public Telephones — An appropriate number of public telephones 
should be made accessible to and usable by the physically disabled. 

Note — The conventional public telephone booth is not usable by most physi- 
cally disabled individuals. There are many ways in which public telephones may 
be made accessible and usable. It is recommended that architects and builders 
confer with the telephone companies in the planning of the building ori*aciIity. 

5.9.1 Such telephones should be kept so that the dial is placed at mini- 
mum 1 200 mm from floor and the handset may be reached by individuals 
in wheelchairs, in accordance with 3.3. 

5.10 Handrails — Handrails are used as a locational and mobility aid by 
blind and visually impaired people, and as a support for people with 
mobility impairements. The handrail should be securely fitted to the wall 
to withstand heavy pressure. Handrails should turn in towards the wall at 
either end. 

5.10.1 Handrails should be approximately 900 mm from the floor. The 
rail should be easy to grip, having a ciicular section with a diameter of 
approximately 40 mm and fixed as shown in Fig. 14. 

5.10.2 To aid indentification, the colour of the rail should contrast with 
the wall behind. 

5 .11 Elevators — ^ In a multi-storey building, elevators are essential to the 
successful functioning of physically disabled individuals. They shall conform 
to the requirements given in 5.11.1 and 5.11.2. 

5.11.1 Elevators shall be accessible to, and usable by the physically 
disabled on the level that they use to enter the building, and at all levels 
normally used by the general public. 

5.11.2 Elevatois shall allow for traffic by wheelchairs in accordance 
with 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 5.3. 



5.12 Controls — It 

placed at low level 

All dimensions in millimetres. 
Fig. 14 Fixing of Handrail 

is advantageous for wheelchair users if controls are 
For visually impaired people, they should be at eye- 

5.12.1 To enable wheelchair users to reach controls while not placing 
them too low for visually impaired people, controls should be in the zone 
900 to 1 200 mm from the floor. It is advantageous if controls in, for 
example, lifts are placed at an angle of approximately 45"* to the wall so 
that they are easier to read and operate. To cater for wheelchair users, 
controls should be placed not less than 400 mm from room corners. All 
the power and electric points should be placed at one metre above the 
floor level and should not project outside walls. 

5.12.2 Again, to cater for visually impaired people, controls should be 
colour-contrasted with backgrounds. Information should preferably be in 
relief for tactile reading. 

5.12.3 To aid operation for people with impaired co-ordination or 
impaired vision, switches, etc, should have large push plates. 

5.12.4 Controls for powered door openers to hinged doors should be 
located so that the doors do not conflict with wheelchairs, sticks, walking 
aids, etc. 

5.12.5 To facilitate operation for people with limited strength in arms 
and hands, handles should be easy to grip and turn. 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

5.13 Identification — Appropriate identification of specific facilities 
within a building used by the public is particularly essential to the blind 

5.13.1 Raised letters or numbers shall be used to identify rooms or 

5.13.2 Such identification should be placed on the wall, to left of the 
door, preferably at a height of 1500 mm from the fioor. 

5.13.3 Doors that are not intended for normal use, and that might prove 
dangerous if a bhnd person were to exit or enter by them, should be made 
quickly identifiable to the touch by knurling the door handle or knob 
( see Fig. 15 ). 


Pig. 15 Door Handle 

5.14 Warning Signals 

5.14.1 Audible warning signals shall be accompanied by simultaneous 
visual signals for the benefit of those with hearing disabilities. 

5.14.2 Visual signals shall be accompanied by simultaneous audible 
signals for the benefit of the blind. To assist blind people, lettering and 
symbols on signs should be in rehef for tactile reading. 

5.14.3 Signs should be designed and located so that they aie easy to 
read. For visually impaired people, signs should preferably be at eye-level 
and it should be possible to approach them closely. Text and symbols 
should be colour-contrasted with the background The letters should not 
be less than 12 mm high. 

5.14.4 Signs should be well illuminated and surfaces should not cause 
mirroring or reflections. Signs should not be behind glass or similar 


IS : 4963 - 1987 

5.14.5 Information based on colour codes only should be avoided; 
colourblind people may find them difiicult to understand. 

5.15 Work Bench -- This should be at least 800 mm wide, 600 mm deep 
and 650 to 700 mm high. For wheelchair users, the convenient height of 
work tops is between 750 and 850 mm: flexible provision is preferred. 
Further for wheelchair access to a work bench, wash basin or table, a 
clear space for knees and footrests is needed. 

5.16 Hazards — Every effort shall be exercised to obviate hazards to 
individuals with physical disabihties. 

5.16.1 Access panels or manholes in floors, walks, and walls may be 
extremely hazardous, particularly when in use, and should be avoided. 

5.16.2 When manholes or access panels are open and in use, or when 
an open excavation exists on a site, particularly when it is in proximity of 
normal pedestrian trafiic, barricades shall be placed on all open sides, at 
least 8*5 m from the hazard, and warning devices shall be installed in 
accordance with 5.14.2. 

5.16.3 Low-hanging door closers that remain within the opening of a 
doorway, when the door is open or that protrudfe hazardously into regular 
corridors or traffic ways when the door is closed, shall be avoided. 

5.16.4 Low-hanging signs, ceiling lights, and similar objects or signs 
and fixtures that protrude into regular corridors or traffic way shall be 
avoided. A minimum height of 2"1 m measured from the floor is recom- 

5.16.5 Ramps shall be adequately lighted. 

5.16.6 Exit signs shall be in accordance with IS : 4878-1968*. 

5.16.7 Equipment and materials causing allergic reactions should as far 
as possible be avoided in dwellings and buildings. 


6.1 The dimensions given in the standard are for adults of average stature. 
In designing buildings for use by children, it may be necessary to alter 
some dimensions, such as height of handrails according to IS : 4838 
( Part 1 )-1969t and IS : 4838 ( Part 2 )-1979J. 

♦Byelaws for construction of cinema buildings. 

t Anthropometric dimensions for school children: Part 1 Age group 5-11 years. 
t Anthropometric dimensions for school children: Part 2 Age group 12-15 
years {first revision ).